Make something foolproof, they make a better fool

Here’s something to pass around to all of your friends… and tell them to pass it along to all of theirs. This is how ALL point-and-shoot digital cameras work:

In one motion, you press the shutter button halfway down and hold, which causes the camera to engage the autofocus. Once the camera has autofocused on the subject, usually indicated by a beep, you continue to press the button all the way down to take the picture.

While that seems simple and, to people who actually know how to use their digital cameras, foolproof, it’s amazing how many people screw this up. It seems that the majority of individuals that you hand your camera to and ask to take a picture of you with your friends/parents/girl or boyfriend/etc just point the camera and mash the button down. This cause the shutter to fire before the camera focuses, resulting in a blurry picture.

Interestingly enough, these are also the people who give you a look when you review the picture they just took in an attempt to check their work. Then you have to make the decision to ask them to take another picture or just say “thanks” and move on.

So please, for the sake of everyone on a vacation with their loved ones who would like to have everyone in the picture, halfway down to autofocus then all the way down to fire. One motion, no double tapping!

Rant over.

Zappos Published Me… Twice!

Earlier this year I was in Las Vegas for the Affiliate Summit West 2009. During that trip, a group of us arranged to take a tour of the office, which is headquartered in Vegas. I didn’t know at the time, but they offer tours to the general public so that you can see how they operate. I won’t go into detail, but it was an incredible experience and I would recommend anyone that is interested take the tour.Zappos Culture Book 2009

At the culmination of the tour, they gave each of us their 2008 “Culture Book”. Every year, they put out a professionally created and bound book that
is made up of submissions from their employees. Everyone, from top to bottom, submits a written passage about what it’s like to work at Zappos and it is included. The passages range from funny to heartfelt to downright nonsensical!

A few months after the trip, I was reading a blog posting about how Zappos is taking submissions of photographs from anyone who took the tour for inclusion in their 2009 Culture Book. I immediately fired up my iPhoto and grabbed three of the shots that I took that day and sent them in. A few days later, I was contacted and asked to sign a release. I sent back in the forms and asked if I could be contacted if any of my photos would be used as I would like a copy of the book. That was back in March and I kinda forgot about the whole thing.

Flash forward to two weeks ago when I received an email from the same person who sent me the release informing me that my submission would be included in the book! Not only that, but they offered to send me one, free of charge. Today, I arrived home to find the book waiting and not only did I get in once, but twice!

Now, I can’t take full credit here because, obviously, I didn’t take the photo that I appear in. For that one, the credit goes to Kim Rowley, who did an excellent job. You have to be a damn good photographer to make me look good!

If you’re interested, you can obtain this book, for free, by contacting Jenn Lim of Zappos via her Twitter feed. She’s the one who “designs, produces and field questions for the culture books.” It’s a great read and really shows you that companies can truly succeed when they make their employees love what they do!

The Ball of Name Tags

Me on the Throne... not that one!
Me on the Throne... not that one!

Excuse me. Can you take our picture?

You know how when you go out with friends and someone brings a camera, there’s always one person missing from the pictures?  Well, I was just at a marketing conference in Las Vegas and saw someone with this crazy cool device that allows you to take pictures without anyone missing from the shot!  It’s called the XShot and I bought mine on Amazon (link below) and it’s super cool.  To show you how cool, I’ve put together a little video that explains it.

Buy the XShot Camera Extender on Amazon



Buy the XShot Camera Extender on Amazon